Bouma National Park TaveuniTaveuni Bouma National Park
Review of Bouma National Heritage Park
It was nicknamed "Garden Iceland of Fiji" for this multi-faceted park, which covers almost 259 sq. km (100 sq. miles) or almost a third of the area. There are four towns in the park offering walking tours, visiting waterfalls, snorkelling on local boats, hiking and birdwatching through the unspoilt rainforest and along the unspoilt coastline.
Lavena Coastal Walks are a picturesque stroll through the rainforest and historic manioc, farmyard, papaya, cava and other cultures, across a stream to untouched falls and a bath. It starts in the small town of Lavena, 6 km southwards of the park entry, and runs past magnificent bathing and snorkelling water.
It is a four-hour round but makes a pleasant half or longer one. For groups of four or more people, a three-hour cruise to seven unreachable falls can also be arranged, if desired, along the water.
Mt Taveuni Island Villages
Hadn' prepared myself for how lovely the Taveuni would be. Mountain scenery with rain forest and many secret falls. Taveuni is the third biggest of the more than 300 Fiji islets and is also called "The Garden Island" because of its unbelievable natural scenery. Much of the wildlife of Taveuni is preserved by two natural reserves and a national park.
The visit usually takes place in a small airplane and allows you to see the many colourful Fiji isles from the sky. Taveuni's Matei Airport is just a cabin with a few banks under one umbrella that serve as a terminals. Taveuni's tribe survive by cultivating coconuts, cava, breadfruits, manioc, vanilla seeds and coffees on small parcels of the Taveuni families to support themselves and generate livelihood.
Clothes lines are hanging in front of every apartment - in all the rains and the moisture the isle gets, it must take a few nights until everything is dried this way. The streets on Taveuni are rugged and slimy. Passing native children waving excitedly as our 4×4 truck crept to the east end of the peninsula to see the National Park.
Besides the cultivation of small parcels, the tourist industry is also an important and growing revenue stream for the inhabitants of Taveuni. Neighbouring towns split the entrance fees paid by visitors to Bouma National Park to hike to the secluded jungles. Together with my buddies JD, Lesley, Ryan, Stephanie and our leader Atu we walked up a broad dense grassy trail full of them.
It is an important plant with large heart-shaped foliage and red stalks, often found on an islet. When cooked, you can enjoy its seeds and leaf. Isle states have survived on it for centuries. Táro is growing well on Taveuni, and 80% of Fiji's supplies come from the isle.
Bouma National Park's rain forest scenery is a celebration for your hearing and your sight. We were sung by alien insular species such as the African Pintail Quail, the Wooden Quail and the Taveuni Caique. There are a number of lovely cascades that can be accessed by walking in Bouma National Park. First is Bouma falls, probably Fiji's most popular cascade.
With a height of 24 metres it is quite impressing. Luckily you can scale the cliffs behind the Bouma Falls and jump into the swimming pools from a 5 metre high crag. The next stage of the walk took us higher up into the mountain and looked back at the sea, the island of Qamea and the towns in the valleys.
When we reached the second cascade, the road became ever more steep, muddy and narrow. There was a bifurcation leading us on a very sliding road leading to the second cascade. Instead of continuing to the 3. waterfalls, we chose to go out of Bouma and go to a nature slide on another part of the isle.
Waitavala is a popular meeting place for Fiji children. We' re all just a couple of big children, so we had to see it. It' a 50 metre long section of water with small falls and slippery gullies that can be slipped down like a waterlide.
It'?s quick! Indigenous children are professionals, they were actually walking around barefooted in a stand-up position! Whilst most of us are flying or taking a quick cruise, it is also possible to take the night-ferry from the capital of Fiji Suva to Taveuni Island.